Paulson Protege Who Scaled Kilimanjaro Builds $1 Billion Fund
(Bloomberg) -- A former Paulson & Co. partner has transformed a small investment vehicle he inherited from his old firm into a private equity fund with almost $1 billion of assets.
When Andrew Klaber’s Bedford Ridge Capital took control of Paulson Investment Co. I in October, the fund had just $169 million. Today, its capital and commitments exceed $900 million, according to a regulatory filing.
Combined with several other co-investment vehicles acquired from Paulson, as well as money it raised for a pair of new growth equity funds, Bedford Ridge’s assets under management totaled almost $1.3 billion at the end of March.
Klaber, Bedford Ridge’s chief executive officer, plans to invest in companies that have strong management teams, ample free cash flow, high barriers to entry and attractive valuations, the firm said in its initial registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
It has been an eventful half-year for Klaber, 39, who worked for more than a decade at John Paulson’s hedge fund firm before launching Bedford Ridge in October, along with three partners. In February, he teamed up with Starwood Capital founder Barry Sternlicht to raise roughly $1 billion for a special purpose acquisition company, Jaws Mustang Acquisition Corp.
“Klaber played a big role in bringing tech and private investing to the firm,” said Brad Rosenberg, who previously worked as Paulson’s head credit trader and now runs his own family office, BSR Capital, in Greenwich, Connecticut. “It was very profitable to be on the tech side.”
Klaber, who has degrees from Yale, Oxford and Harvard, is accustomed to doing big things. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, competed in marathons around the world and rode a bicycle across the U.S. to support Habitat for Humanity.
Bedford Ridge’s other leaders include Chief Operating Officer Tina Constantinides, who ran investor relations at Paulson’s firm for 17 years; Chief Administrative Officer Katherine Larsen-Blount, also a veteran of Paulson’s investor relations staff; and Chief Financial Officer and senior investment partner Michael Reidler, who previously worked at Citadel Advisors.
Paulson, who made a fortune betting against subprime debt during the 2008 financial crisis, was beset by a client exodus as returns faltered in recent years. In 2020, the billionaire announced he would return any remaining external capital and convert Paulson & Co. into a private investment vehicle to manage his family’s wealth.
As part of that conversion, Paulson spun out the private growth equity fund along with several co-investment vehicles to Bedford Ridge. Paulson Investment Co. was created in 2017 to ramp up private investing at the firm, which traditionally specialized in merger arbitrage and distressed debt.
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